life hacks, planning your life, life lessons, plan your life
Quote taken from the Oscar-winning movie “Parasite”.

The following article was published on Medium

You ever find yourself too caught up in the moment? Or just overthinking something and anxiously looking forward to it past the point of unbearable, where you begin to loathe it? We’ve all been there. I remember once I was meant to go up on a 3-day getaway with a group of friends. I spent two weeks just looking forward to it and in anticipation of it. I built it up so much in my head that when the weekend came and went, it fell short of all my expectations.

That’s what plans do. They set specific goals and milestones that you tell yourself you must meet. But what goes unnoticed is what basis these goals and criteria are being set. And who is the one setting them. Because oftentimes it’s you. You are the one setting up these ridiculous milestones and putting the onus onto yourself to achieve them. You are your own harshest critic.

This framework, this paradigm, isn’t limited to just weekend plans, or birthday arrangements. You apply this belief of having and following a solidified plan to everything in your life. Even when it comes to your career, or social life, or going to the gym, or losing weight. Even when you go on vacation you follow an itinerary or guide. And it all stems from the same place every other anxiety-inducing stimulant comes from: society. And in this case, trying desperately to answer the nagging question that society jams down your throat: “what’s your plan?” As if the intricacies and complexities of life can be penned and planned out on a piece of A4 paper. As if life was and is that simple. It’s not. And our attempt to simplify it as such, to dumb it down, actually produces the opposite of what we intend to. It hinders you rather than allowing you to grow. You tend to look at successful people and assume that they paved their way towards the pantheon of success via their own step-by-step plan which they followed to the T. Well, that’s not necessarily the case. I doubt the successful people that you’re thinking of knew where and how their life was headed when they began on their journey. In fact, I’d bet most of them winged it along the way.

And that’s another thing you do when you impose gargantuan expectations onto yourself, you eliminate some of the most important aspects of life. Aspects that you know, for a fact, play a role in all situations. Aspects such as fate, luck, destiny, time, and place. All these are important factors that absolutely play a role in any success story. They are factors that are in no way measurable or plannable. You can’t expect them. They are spontaneous, sporadic, and present themselves depending on the situation and scenario. You hear it all the time from any successful person. How luck played a role, or how it was their destiny, or how they happened to be at the right place and at the right time. You tend to dismiss these statements as just another successful person feeding you Hollywood guff. But that’s not true. And you know it isn’t. Because you know very rarely do things in life go according to plan.

The perks of not having a plan are simple. You remove the onus of self-imposed expectations. Which is a heavy onus. Almost boulder-like heavy. You also erase the boundaries and allow yourself to work freely. You go about your business by focusing on the task at hand, instead of always looking ahead. You don’t set impossible milestones or daunting deadlines. You allow yourself less room for overthinking and more room for a clear head.

But the most positive perk is this. You put so much emphasis on the aspect of having your life planned out that you eliminate all the other courses your life can take. Most important of which would be the natural course. Allowing things to be, instead of dictating to them where and when to be. Doing you but all the while trusting that when the time comes and the opportunity arises you will be ready for it. Instead of burdening yourself with unachievable milestones. Not that you can’t achieve them. But like we’ve said, you are your own harshest critic. And so it makes sense that you give yourself certain goals with deadlines that you are not ready to meet. Setting your expectations so high, that when you fall short, you lose all hope. It happens. Even with something as simple as a weekend plan. You’ll find yourself not having quite the bit of fun as you thought you would.

This framework, this paradigm, isn’t limited to just weekend plans, or birthday arrangements. You apply this belief of having and following a solidified plan to everything in your life. Even when it comes to your career, or social life, or going to the gym, or losing weight. Even when you go on vacation you follow an itinerary or guide. And it all stems from the same place every other anxiety-inducing stimulant comes from: society. And in this case, trying desperately to answer the nagging question that society jams down your throat: “what’s your plan?” As if the intricacies and complexities of life can be penned and planned out on a piece of A4 paper. As if life was and is that simple. It’s not. And our attempt to simplify it as such, to dumb it down, actually produces the opposite of what we intend to. It hinders you rather than allowing you to grow. You tend to look at successful people and assume that they paved their way towards the pantheon of success via their own step-by-step plan which they followed to the T. Well, that’s necessarily the case. I doubt the successful people that you’re thinking of knew where and how their life was headed when they began on their journey. In fact, I’d bet most of them winged it along the way.

And that’s another thing you do when you impose gargantuan expectations onto yourself, you eliminate some of the most important aspects of life. Aspects that you know, for a fact, play a role in all situations. Aspects such as fate, luck, destiny, time, and place. All these are important factors that absolutely play a role in any success story. They are factors that are in no way measurable or plannable. You can’t expect them. They are spontaneous, sporadic, and present themselves depending on the situation and scenario. You hear it all the time from any successful person. How luck played a role, or how it was their destiny, or how they happened to be at the right place and at the right time. You tend to dismiss these statements as just another successful person feeding you Hollywood guff. But that’s not true. And you know it isn’t. Because you know very rarely do things in life go according to plan.

The perks of not having a plan are simple. You remove the onus of self-imposed expectations. Which is a heavy onus. Almost boulder-like heavy. You also erase the boundaries and allow yourself to work freely. You go about your business by focusing on the task at hand, instead of always looking ahead. You don’t set impossible milestones or daunting deadlines. You allow yourself less room for overthinking and more room for a clear head.

But the most positive perk is this. You put so much emphasis on the aspect of having your life planned out that you eliminate all the other courses your life can take. Most important of which would be the natural course. Allowing things to be, instead of dictating to them where and when to be. Doing you but all the while trusting that when the time comes and the opportunity arises you will be ready for it. Instead of burdening yourself with unachievable milestones. Not that you can’t achieve them. But like we’ve said, you are your own harshest critic. And so it makes sense that you give yourself certain goals with deadlines that you are not ready to meet. Setting your expectations so high, that when you fall short, you lose all hope. It happens. Even with something as simple as a weekend plan. You’ll find yourself not having quite the bit of fun as you thought you would.

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